A few years ago, my brother was helping me rewrite my business plan for my brand, STAY VOCAL, as I wanted to incorporate reuse apparel more. He pressingly asked, “Well, what do you want to do?!” Without hesitation, I responded with, “I want to be the leader of the reuse movement! ”
Now I know what you’re saying, “leader of the reuse movement? That’s a lofty goal Alex!” But that was my gut feeling. And hey, at this point, it’s way more likely of a thing for me to be than a pro skateboarder or pro basketball player; both things that I had aimed to be in my younger years. Shortly after that meeting with my brother, I decided to take the first step towards my goal and change my brand’s focus from a mix of new and reuse apparel to strictly reuse apparel.
Two months later, I won a best small business award for my idea; including a $20,000 prize! It was obvious that I made the right choice. As a result of the brand changeover, my customers began praising the business model and supporting the brand even more. I also noticed the amount of money I began to save in numerous areas of the business like shipping and production costs; savings I could then pass on to my customers. The green business world took notice too, as STAY VOCAL was certified green by Green America a few months later.
From my years working in journalism and touring with bands around the world, I learned that our voice is the most important tool that we have. So, over the past couple of years, I have been sharing my story, experiences, and knowledge about reusing with a much wider audience. It started with sharing ideas on social networks and has progressed into a career of speaking, consulting, teaching, and most recently, film making.
With my current work, I’m able to encourage others to become more eco friendly and to save money by incorporating reuse more. As we shift to a more sustainable society as a whole, reusing is the logical and most effective way to get there.
So, how did I become so passionate about reuse in the first place? Well, it’s something that I’ve been around and had fun with since I was a little kid. From my dad showing me how toilet paper rolls can become matchbox car tunnels to my friends and I finding out how great old refrigerators can be for skateboarding obstacles. But what really sparked my passion for reuse was my years of selling merchandise for bands around the world. In those seven years, I saw more new “stuff” being made and sold than I ever imagined. I also saw a lot of this new “stuff” being destroyed without ever having been used once.
I knew that I had to do something beyond just incorporating reuse into my own life if I was going make an impact. I needed to educate and offer ideas and solutions to encourage people to take their own small steps. And that’s why I became a Reuse Pro.